TORTUS secures $4.2M Seed Funding for clinical documentation automation

TORTUS automates clinical documentation for final sign-off by listening to the clinician’s conversation with their patient and seamlessly interacting with any EHR system.
TORTUS secures $4.2M Seed Funding for clinical documentation automation

Healthtech generative AI startup TORTUS announced today $4.2 million in seed funding led by Khosla Ventures. 

Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff are under immense pressure in today's healthcare system. Pressure as the NHS faces continued staff shortages, workforce challenges, and growing demand. One of the most significant pressures reported by clinicians is the burden of administrative tasks.

The company’s lead product, O.S.L.E.R. (Operating System Leverage in Electronic Records), automates the clinical documentation process for final sign-off by clinicians – including pre-chart summaries, visit notes, lab requests, coding, and more – by listening to the clinician’s conversation with their patient and seamlessly interacting with any electronic health records (EHR) system.

To ensure patient privacy, the consultation audio is not recorded or stored by O.S.L.E.R., and any outputs are stored directly in the hospital’s secure EHR.

As a result, clinicians can give their full attention to patients during the consultation and spend line time on documentation. 

Co-founder and CEO of TORTUS, Dr Dom Pimenta, witnessed countless cases of burnout amongst his colleagues during his 16-year medical career. He shared: 

“I know that over-worked, stressed clinicians can’t deliver the best quality of care to patients and that this negatively impacts their patients’ experiences and outcomes.

“We created O.S.L.E.R to free clinicians from their keyboards and the burden of administrative tasks. The technology immediately improves the engagement between a clinician and patient, which is the foundation of every healthcare system.”

Today, TORTUS also announced a first-of-its-kind pilot with world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital, where its technology will be evaluated in clinical settings. Researchers will collect and analyse data on the technology’s impact on patient experience and clinical workload.

 In addition, TORTUS becomes the first UK-based company to achieve the NHS DTAC standard of compliance for this AI technology.

Khosla Ventures led the Seed round, and also included Entrepreneur First, former NHS Chair Lord David Prior, and other investors. Eric Jang, VP of AI at 1X Technologies, also joined as Chief Scientific Advisor.

The new funds will be used to accelerate the development and compliance of the O.S.L.E.R. agent, broadening its current capabilities to include performing important tasks such as placing prescription orders and adding diagnoses and coding to the system, giving even more time back to clinicians.

The company will also focus on expanding into additional hospitals and primary care organisations, with several primary care sites already set to go live in February 2024.

Dr Shankar Sridharan, Chief Clinical Information Officer and Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at GOSH, shared:

“Healthcare professionals across all roles spend an average of 13.5 hours per week adding to, or creating clinical documentation. This is more than a third of the average clinician’s working hours and 25 percent more time than in 2015.

“At GOSH, we’re very excited to have this opportunity to partner with TORTUS and to study how generative AI tools could help our clinicians by safely freeing them from administrative tasks and allowing them to spend more time directly interacting with patients.”

Lord David Prior, former health minister and NHS chair, said:

“O.S.L.E.R. will transform the working lives of doctors and is truly setting the standard for how innovative technologies like generative AI can be safely harnessed and deployed into the NHS to benefit clinicians and patients alike.

According to Adina Tecklu, Partner at Khosla Ventures:

“Doctors become doctors because they want to care for patients, but the reality today is that they are burdened with administrative work resulting in physician burnout and compromised patient care. 

TORTUS is the AI assistant for every physician, in every patient visit. It automates documentation and critical workflows so that doctors can spend more time with patients and no time on paperwork, a huge boon to both physician and patient wellbeing.”

Lead image: TORTUS. Photo: uncredited.

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